I woke up this morning thinking about Good Friday -- and asked myself (as I've done so many times before) what's so 'good' about this day.
The Baltimore Catechism declares that Good Friday is called good because Christ, by His Death, "showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing." Good, in this sense, means "holy," and indeed Good Friday is known as Holy and Great Friday among Eastern Christians. In other countries it is called "God's Day", "Holy Friday", "long Friday" and "suffering Friday."
I've avoided the suffering of Jesus on the cross my whole life. I remember being a child in catholic school and having to sit in the front row of the chapel. The crucifix on the wall behind the altar was huge, and the artist had done an amazing job of making Jesus' face writhe in agony. Having been beaten severely as a child at home, I loved being sent away to live at school, yet I was so dismayed to walk into the chapel, which was supposed to be a place of safety, and see more pain. Having an avid imagination, I could almost feel the nails and the crown of thorns.
Over the years I have experienced various types of suffering, and I avoided it just like I did Jesus on the cross. One day I begun to understand that to fully have the delights of my humanity, I had to stop avoiding suffering. I had to realize I wasn't 'weak' by experiencing pain, I was authentic.
One of the side affects of awakening to my own pain, was seeing the pain of the world. Jack Kornfield writes in After the Ecstasy the Laundry: "By facing the pain of the world, we awaken a fearless and merciful heart, the universal birthright of humanity."
Today is Good Friday, and Passover begins. There is a full moon. Sunday is Easter - and Buddha's birthday. Let's ask ourselves "Where am I still resisting Life? Where have I crucified myself to beliefs that no longer serve me. Where have I allowed myself to be enslaved? Let's reap the harvest of these things, and move forward - celebrating our own rebirth!
In the same book, Kornfield shares a story of a nun going through the rituals leading to Easter and she says "This is God's purpose for our sorrows, to connect all our hearts." Declare with me: "I will awaken my own fearless and merciful heart, and by doing these things, connect with the compassionate Global Heart of humanity."
What a glorious resurrection!
SPIRITUAL MIND TREATMENT
I am ready and willing to deepen my experience of The Divine. I open my heart and mind to a greater understanding of every aspect of Life. God is Life - It is living in, through, and as us. It is unconditionally loving and infinitely intelligent. It is everywhere around us. We experience it with all our senses and more.
Knowing this, I choose to no longer deny or avoid anything. I am open to experiencing every range of emotion. I let go of thinking vulnerability is weakness - in Truth it is my strength. I honor my sorrows and my joys, glad I am alive to do so.
I feel the Compassionate Heart open within me. I celebrate the lives of all. We are being reborn into our true nature and this is good, because this is God.
Gratefully I release these words into the Law of Mind, knowing they are done. And so it is.